Practice Policy on Document Retention

 

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Introduction

Following good Information Governance procedures, the Data Protection Act 1998 and the General Data Protection Regulation 2018, the Practice seeks to ensure that personal data is not kept for longer than necessary for the purpose for which it was processed.

 

How long is data kept?

Different types of data are kept for different periods depending on what they were originally used for. The table below defines at what point the data is reviewed before a decision is taken on whether to continue storing or to shred the information. The Surgery use the the NHS Code of Practice Part 2 Second Edition as its guidance and follows this.

Record Retention Period (Years) Comments Action at end of retention period
Accident reports 10 Where litigation has been commenced, keep as advised by legal representatives Review and if no longer needed, destroy
Accounts – Annual (Final – one set only) Permanent CQC required period is 30 years  
Accounts Minor records (passbooks; paying-in slips; cheque counterfoils; cancelled/discharged cheques; accounts of petty cash expenditure; travelling and subsistence accounts; minor vouchers; duplicate receipt books and income records 7   Review and if no longer needed, destroy
Bills, receipts and cleared cheques 7   Review and if no longer needed, destroy
Job applications and interview records of unsuccessful candidates 1   Review and if no longer needed, destroy
Buildings and engineering works, inclusive of major projects abandoned or deferred – town and country planning matters and all formal contract documents (e.g. Executed agreements, conditions of contract, specifications, “as built” record drawings and documents on the appointment and conditions of engagement of private buildings and engineering consultants.   The general principle to be followed in regard to these records is that they should be preserved for the life of the buildings and installations to which they refer.  
Building records (mortgage transfers, disposal etc) Permanent    
Building and Premises – general maintenance records 3    
Cash books 7 The Limitation Act, 1980 Review and if no longer needed, destroy
Clinical Audit Records 5   Review and if no longer needed, destroy
Clinical System patient records Permanent Codes of Practice for handling information in health and care Codes of Practice for handling information in health and care
Clinical Protocols 25   Review and consider transfer to a place of deposit
Complaints 10 Where litigations has been commenced, keep as advised by legal representatives. Review and if no longer needed, destroy after 10 years  
Contracts 6 The Limitations Act, 1980 Review and if no longer needed, destroy
Death Certificates and death Records 2    
Diaries (office) 1 Review and if no longer needed, destroy  
Employment Records – see Personnel files and Payroll records below      
Equipment maintenance records 3   Review and if no longer needed, destroy
Electrical Testing records 3   Review and if no longer needed, destroy
Fire Safety Records 5   Review and if no longer needed, destroy
Freedom if Information Act requests 3   Review and if no longer needed, destroy
Fridge Temperature Records 1   Review and if no longer needed, destroy
Funding Data 7   Review and if no longer needed, destroy
GMS 1 forms 3 As of 17th March 2016, should be stored for 3 years and then shredded. They are scanned onto the patients record.  
HMRC Information 7    
Insurance certificates 40    
Job advertisements 1   Review and if no longer needed, destroy
Job applications and descriptions and descriptions (following termination of employment) 3   Review and if no longer needed, destroy
Medical gas storage, transport and safety 3   Review and if no longer needed, destroy
Medical Records in Lloyd George Folders      
Minutes of Meetings 1   Review and if no longer needed, destroy
Our of Hours Records 3 Where these are held as part of the clinical system, the longer period of retention relating to clinical system record applies  
Paper Patient Records 20 20 years after last recording. 10 years after death. For patients treated under the Mental Health Act retain for 30 years after the last recording. Return to PCSE for safe storage/destruction under their protocols
Patient Surveys 2   Review and if no longer needed, destroy
Payroll / PAYE records 10 For superannuation purposes authorities may wish to retain such records until the subject reaches benefit age. Retain for 10 years after termination of employment  
Personnel files (e.g. Personnel files, letters of appointment, contracts, references & related correspondence) 6 Keep for 6 years after subject of file leaves service, or until subject’s 70th birthday, whichever is the later. Only the summary needs to be kept to age 70; remainder of file can be destroyed 6 years after subject leaves service  
Personnel records of disciplinary matters   Retain them in the file even after they become “inactive”. Once staff member leaves, terms above apply  
PGDs 8 The same rules apply to PGD records as to all other patient records. For adults, all PGD documentation must be kept for 8 years, and for children until the child is 25 years old, or 8 years after a child’s death. In addition to patient records relating to PGD, local arrangements should be in place to retain the master copies of the PGD, lists of authorised practitioners and records of version numbers.  
Policies, strategies and operating procedures including business plans Life of organisation plus 6 years Current version and all previous versions to be retained for the lifetime of the organisation plus 6 years Review and consider transfer to Place of Deposit.
Purchase orders excluding medical devices and medical equipment 18 months   Review and if no longer needed, destroy
Purchase orders – medical devices and medical equipment 11    
RA Forms for Smartcards 6 years after an individual leaves the service or their 70th birthday To comply with the Registration Authority Department requirement to keep RA forms for a minimum retention period of 6 years after an individual leaves service, at which time a summary of the file must be kept until the individual’s 70th birthday, or 6 years after the individual leaves the service whichever is the longer). Forms are no longer done as all applications are online  
Risk Assessments 3 Retain 3 years and ensure that subsequent risk assessments are available  
Rotas and staff duty rosters 4 4 complete years following the year to which they relate  
Significant Event records 3 Including those to be notified to the CQC  
Superannuation Forms (SD55) 10    
VAT Records 6 Complete years following the end of a VAT period  
Water Safety Records 5   Review and if no longer needed, destroy

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